By KYW community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US Department of Justice today issued a detailed report on the Philadelphia Police Department’s use of deadly force.
The report comes in response to police commissioner Charles Ramsey’s request for a federal investigation after a spike in police-involved shootings in 2013.
The 173-page report (“Collaborative Reform Initiative: An Assessment of Deadly Force in the Philadelphia Police Department”) provides 48 findings that include serious deficiencies in police training on use of deadly force, lack of consistency during investigations, and a need for better cooperation with the Police Advisory Commission. It then provides 91 recommendations on how to improve police community relations.
“It’s a good report with a lot of solid recommendations,” said Commissioner Ramsey today. Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters today they are committed to implementing the changes, which also include improved and increased de-escalation training, creation of a deadly force investigation unit, and more transparency.
“These changes don’t happen overnight, but we’re going to push as hard as we can and make substantial changes over the next few months,” Ramsey said.
The city has committed financial and personnel resources. The DOJ will oversee implementation over the next year and a half, and will issue the first of two progress reports in six months.
According to the report, there were 394 police-involved shootings in Philadelphia between 2007 and 2014, with most of them happening in the 22nd and 25th police districts.
A small number of demonstrators stood outside the prosecutor’s office today, protesting police use of force in the city.